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Dr. Billy Dean Reeves

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Dr.  Billy  Dean  Reeves Obituary
Dr. Billy Dean Reeves
January 17, 1927 - July 23, 2010

Loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and caregiver to many, Dr. Billy Dean Reeves passed away peacefully, family at his side, in Las Cruces on Friday, July 23rd in La Posada at the Mesilla Valley Hospice.

Born in Franklin Park, Illinois, in 1927, he served in the Merchant Marines in World War II (1945), followed by service in the US Army, and later as a Commander in the US Naval Reserves from 1982 to 1986. He married his Elmhurst College sweetheart, Phyllis Joan Faber, on August 25, 1951.

His career accomplishments were many. A graduate of the University of Illinois Medical School, Dr. Reeves began a private practice in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) in Evanston, IL. After completing a National Institute of Health Fellowship in Stockholm, Sweden, he transferred his practice to Las Cruces in 1970 where he partnered with his longtime friend and colleague Dr. Flavio Galban, a pediatrician. In 1977, he became professor and Department Chair of OB/GYN at Texas Tech University School of Medicine in El Paso. Upon retiring in 1991, he twice served as the interim Executive Director of the Mesilla Valley Hospice. He was a member of multiple professional medical societies, served in many professional administrative positions, and published nearly 70 articles and medical book chapters. He was recognized as a true leader in women's health issues.

Loved by many, he is survived by his wife, Joan, his brother Barney and sister-in-law, Jeanne, and his five children: Tim (Kay), Brian (Debbie), Tina, Pam (Paul Erickson), and Philip (Christy), and eight grandchildren: Evan Reeves, Nathan Marlink, Bryan Marlink, Kyle Erickson, Olivia Erickson, Jessie Reeves, Madison Reeves, and Channing Reeves. He is also survived by nephews Dale Harper, Dan Harper, Barney James Reeves and Ron Reeves. His contributions as physician, teacher, mentor, and humanitarian touched many. His loving kindness as husband, father and friend was a rare and true gift. He was dearly loved and will be missed by all.

A consummate pursuer of enlightenment, insight and intelligence, the following is one of Dr. Reeves' favorite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson: To win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; this is to have succeeded.

Prior to his passing, Dr. Reeves requested any gracious remembrances take the form of donations to the Mesilla Valley Hospice. Our family is deeply grateful to the staff of the Mesilla Valley Hospice, who took such loving care of all of us in his final days.

Remembrance service to be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 11, 2010 at the Mesilla Valley Hospice Rotary Room.
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on July 28, 2010
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